I believe in the protection of guardian angels. I believe that a higher power oversees each and every person enforcing the conviction that everything happens for a reason. Although I am not the most dedicated practicing Catholic, in the sense that I rarely attend church with the exception of religious holidays, I have had experiences that have strengthened my faith in the religion. Growing up in a Catholic family, attending a Catholic grammar school as well as a Catholic high school, it is hard for one to ignore the teachings of the Catholic faith. However, one specific course I took during my senior year of high school, Eastern Religious Thought, challenged us to dispute the traditional principles of our religion. The teachings of this class were based on the similarities of the Bible and the story of Jesus to those of other religions such as Buddhism. This triggered doubts in the foundation of my religious faith and what had been taught to me over the past twelve years of my life.
This past year, my faith and conviction was put to the ultimate test. My family is very fortunate and never really had any serious health concerns. My father has a successful career as an attorney, my sister and I have done extremely well in school and sports, and my mother stays at home to take care of the family. I never would have thought that something so frightening would happen and affect my family in such a considerable way. My father has played soccer throughout his life. He began in high school, played Division I in college and Semi-Pro after college. He never experienced any serious injuries besides the usual pulled muscles and bruises. In spite of this, on March 20th 2008, my 51 year-old father, Frank Crupi, arrived at his usual Thursday night league game at GoodSports, an all-sports facility in our area. Ten minutes into the game, he collapsed on the field. My father had suffered ‘Sudden Cardiac Death’ which occurs when the electrical impulses in the heart become chaotic and the heart stops beating. There’s only a four to six minute window of time for the victim to be revived before brain death or permanent death occurs. Fortunately, my father was saved because everything went right the day something went wrong. Several of my father’s teammates are policemen; they knew to do CPR immediately when he collapsed to keep oxygen going to his brain. In addition to that, Dr. Pedro Escandon, a well-known cardiologist in the area, had arrived to the field forty minutes early – for the first time in almost ten years of playing. Noticing the commotion across the field, Dr. Escandon ran to assist. He saw that my father was clinically dead. He describes him as gray in color. The initial defibrillator that was brought to Dr. Escandon was missing a battery; it was a miracle that GoodSports had a second defibrillator since it is not mandatory for sports facilities to have them in New Jersey. Coincidently, the local EMT facility was conducting a course that evening and all techs were in attendance. They reached the scene at a record time of two minutes.
My father has fully recovered. He has always been teased by family and close friends that he should not be playing at his age but the joke is on them now. If he didn’t play soccer, he wouldn’t have been at the right place at the right time. He could have, quite possibly, died that night at home.
All of these events seem to be more than just a coincidence to me. I firmly believe that someone was looking over my family that day – my dad especially. I do not know why I am so lucky to have my father alive and well when there are countless tragedies every day. Although some groups of people, such as atheists, believe that there is no God and disregard such miracles. My father’s incident has deepened my faith in Catholicism. Because of his experience, my father now speaks for the American Heart Association in hopes of convincing legislature to pass a law requiring all facilities in New Jersey to possess a defibrillator. My life has changed immeasurably. I cherish every moment that I have with my family, knowing that anything is possible, good or bad. I do believe in guardian angels. This I believe happened for a reason, and eventually for the benefit of others.